Winter can be a trying time for your roof, and even worse for your home if your roof isn’t up to the task! With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to winter roof maintenance that should help to see your roof through the most difficult season intact.
Our first winter roof maintenance tip is to consider safety before carrying out any work. While you could be waiting a while for a clear, mild day in winter here in the UK, you need to at least steer clear of doing any work during very cold and icy days or periods of snow, rain, or strong winds.
Working on your roof comes with dangers even in the calmest seasons, and in winter it can be especially perilous. So, be careful when climbing ladders and, if you are at all unsure, hire a professional.
Clear the gutters of debris
One thing you need to be mindful of in winter is the condition of your gutters. If they haven’t been cleaned or at least emptied in a while, then debris such as leaves and other tree matter has likely built up in them. This debris can cause blockages which could result in water spilling over and running down your walls, or even break your gutters due to the weight of the water that has built up.
Cut back overhanging trees
Any trees or foliage that overhang your property are most likely the cause of debris and blockages in your gutter. Even in winter, when the trees have fewer or no leaves, cutting them back is still an important part of roof maintenance, because they can also create areas of permanent shade that prevent parts of your roof from ever completely drying. This creates a perfect environment for moss and mould growth, which allows moisture to seep into the property.
Clean off any moss or mould
Moss and mould look unsightly, but that’s the least of the problems they can cause, so cleaning them away and treating the area is a key part of maintaining your roof in winter. Both of these growths can retain a lot of moisture which is detrimental to the health of your roofing material, as well as potentially creating an ingress for water to enter the property and cause more significant damage.
Use a roof rake to remove any snow
Snow and ice on your roof may look picturesque, but they put undue stress on the roofing structure and should be cleared to prevent any damage. Heavy snow left on a roof can cause parts of the roof to sag and damage the roofing material that protects your home from moisture. Use a roof rake to clear the snow from a safe distance.
Repair any flashing that has warped or come loose
You should keep an eye on the condition of your roof throughout the year, looking out for red flags such as missing tiles and warped flashing, but this is even more important in winter. If you notice any flashing has warped or come loose, then your home is vulnerable to the elements and the issue should be addressed immediately. Repair any flashing by fixing it back into place but be prepared to replace it if this has become a regular occurrence.
Have your roof professional inspected
Our final winter roof maintenance tip is to have your roof professionally inspected to check for any weaknesses or vulnerabilities. While most standard winter roof maintenance tasks can be carried out by the homeowner, a professional roofer will be able to spot any potential problems before they become much bigger jobs, which can happen very quickly in winter. It’s better to find out now and fix any issues before the worst of the winter weather hits.
Hopefully this guide has been helpful to you, and you are now prepared to tackle the challenges winter brings for your roof. If you need any further advice or would like to arrange a professional roof inspection, then please get in touch.
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